Everyone knows working out is a useless exercise if you are not fueling your body properly. Diet is equally as important as exercise, and giving your body the proper nutrition and vitamins it needs can be key to your success. When spending time exercising, it can be easy to become concerned with your physical appearance and end-result. Obsession over getting trim may lead to skipping meals and working out for long periods; but this is not the answer.
To really get yourself in better physical shape, you must nourish your body, especially right before a workout. Do not skip meals, but make sure the foods you are eating are nourishing and healthy for your body. There are a few foods that can be especially good for your body if consumed within an hour of working out. Included here are a few of the food “powerhouses” that can fuel your body and boost your workout.
Many fitness gurus refer to bananas as nature’s power bar. Potassium-packed bananas are the ideal fuel before a morning workout, especially when paired with a Greek yogurt. Potassium is important for muscle and nerve function and can help prevent painful cramps. Because your body doesn’t store potassium very long, it is important to load up on this nutrient right before you head to the gym.
Remember how your mother always tried to emphasize the importance of oatmeal before your big school days? High in fiber and complex carbohydrates, oats are one of the best foods you can eat before you workout. The fiber content allows carbohydrates to be released into your system gradually, creating long-term fuel without the gas other high-fiber foods may cause. Oats are also exceedingly high in B vitamins to convert those carbs into energy.
In recent years, many dietary experts have been emphasizing the need for more whole grains in the diet, but do you realize the importance for your workouts? Wholegrain breads give you the carbohydrates you need before a workout, and can be paired with a diverse number of options. For example, topped with an egg, you have a carbohydrate and protein powerhouse, while putting jam or honey on top can give you fast fuel.
Yogurt and Fruit
Greek yogurt that is unsweetened offers a powerful hit of protein and calcium first thing in the morning. Pairing yogurt with carb-heavy fruits can help your body maintain energy throughout your day. Protein doesn’t break down quickly enough for it to benefit your workout immediately, but it will help rebuild your muscles afterward and prevent damage. The carbs in fruit are easily digestible and can give you fast energy to fuel your exercise.